If You Hit Your Prime/ Top/ Peak At 26, What Will You Do At 35?

Earlier today at 10 PM, I was still at my desk. Just done sending one last work-related email and browsing through imgur to enlighten the mood before I got home. A coworker sat in the empty seat in front of me. He also got some work to be done.

There were me and him left in the office. Well… Not really, the other guys from different subsidiary were still there on the other side of the building. I could still hear the rock music they blasted. Probably a thing to do to keep them awake.


That’s the thing about being on an advertising agency. The flexible working hours, which can turn into constant two-edged sword.

We talked about career. Like, for some people, they have their path skyrocketing so fast. Some of the others have it fun settling in slower phase than the former. Talking about advertising agency, it’s no taboo there’s this culture of not settling down, if you know what I mean.

We then talk about our colleagues, about the others, about titles, gray area of career path, about salaries, about the cultures. About how it goes on in different place. I already and still and will be in love with the industry I’m at. And I have this intriguing insight about how the world works in this circumference.

“Millennials are impatient.” He churned a statement about millennials, in term of career we’ve discussed. Similarly, earlier that day we had activation/ campaign brainstorm for a client that spin around this millennials stuff.

Well, we both millennials and that’s quite a ballpark truth. Although personally, it’s more like we the millennials tend to move on fast because some of the pressure of being ‘success under 30’ made by topnotch organization and magazine, or quite pressure from society and life in general, and other by setting the success bar ridiculously in various height— that make us move on so quickly, hopping promptly. To each their own. We can go down on infinite list about this topic.

I think some of fellow twenties can relate, that I can’t help but feel like we rushed to be my very best while we’re still in our twenties. And if I have not yet make my mark in that period of life, feeling like a failure is a regular visitor in our daily thoughts.

And at this point, comparing one to another and inevitable peer-pressure is getting more significant.

“Sometimes I wonder. If this guy, at just 26 years old he’s already the lead. Then what will he do when he’s 35?” He put his thumb and index finger under his chin forming a ✓, just like the 🤔 emoji.

It’s a bit insightful but I clearly knew who he meant by that.

So, there’s this guy we both know, he’s at the top position on his field, and he’s young. Like, 28 years young. He had it all. His career move pretty fast in a span of 6 year in this industry. This guy had been in that lead/ top position for two years now. And sometimes I wonder too.

“Maybe he’ll open his own agency or business when he hits 35. What else then?” I replied.

Cause you know, once you stop levelling in a game, you move on to another game. IMHO.

“Yeah i’ve been thinking. Like, your career progression is fast, you’re great, and you’re at the top in your field. And you just still 26. If you hit your prime or top or peak at 26, then what will you do at 35?

I repeat what he said. Again and again. And that set me back.

Specifically in advertising agency (digital, above the line, media, etc agency life in general) If you hit your prime or top or peak at 26, then what will you do at 35?

Will you keep doing what you do? Will you leverage and creating the new top? Will you move from one top agency to another? Or will you settle forever? Will you retire early and renew yourself in new industry? Will you stop levelling and just gaining score cause no title can reward you any more than that?

Whoa. I now had a thing to think about. Thing to ponder, triggered (in a good way) by my colleague’s question.

If you rush to the finish line so fast, and then what?
A canvas full of possibilities, that’s how I see it.

I stopped typing on my laptop and stared outside the big window.

“What do you think about a person that can upgrade his career progression that fast?” I murmured. Of course beside being great at what you do, project your passion wholeheartedly, do your best at every situation, a little bit of this and that connection, winning, etc, etc. There must be something else.

“…That he move forward from one place to another?” This guy replied quickly.

Slow clap. Ah yes, #AdvertisingAgencyLife. That one infamous culture I’ve heard for so long :)


Blatant Honest Thought #01 — Fin.

Written on Friday, 1 AM, May 20th 2016. Original Conversation occurred between 9.45 to 10.25 PM on previous day, May 19th 2016, Thursday. No filter, no overthinking, just pouring everything I’m thinking at this moment.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.